Scully’s Week 10 NFL picks: Playoffs spots up for grabs

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November 8th, 2019

Week 10 will feature a number of appealing games. The highlight is a matchup between surging teams with playoff aspirations, when the Los Angeles Rams travel to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the action concludes with an important Monday-night battle between NFC West titans.

Baltimore Ravens (-10.5) at Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Baltimore has started to play downhill and outgained New England by a 210-74 margin in rushing yards last week. The Ravens have also displayed a renewed confidence on the defensive side. They dominated time of possession by a 37:01-22:59 margin in last week’s blowout win and have held each of their last three opponents to 20 points or fewer.
Cincinnati rookie quarterback Ryan Finley will find himself in an impossible position. He'll make his first start behind the worst-ranked offensive line in the league (according to Football Outsiders), and it is difficult to envision the low-scoring Bengals (15.5 points per game) will get much going.

Baltimore did not bring its best form against Cincinnati earlier in the season and only won by a 23-17 margin, but I predict a lopsided result this time around.

Pick: Baltimore -10.5

New York Giants (-2.5) vs. New York Jets, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

The Jets will have one of the top picks in the NFL draft, and rumors are circulating about selecting a quarterback in light of the recent struggles of Sam Darnold. He can turn things around, however, against the worst defense in the league.

The Giants defense continues to sink to new depths, and rookie corner DeAndre Baker admitted he didn’t know his team's scheme after being burned by Amari Cooper on Monday night. Both teams enter with offensive woes, but the Jets are clearly better on the defensive side and rank a respectable sixth against the run (89.2 yards allowed per game).

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones provided a spark earlier this season, but the rookie has hit a speed bump and developed a bad turnover habit in recent weeks. He was responsible for three giveaways last week, the Giants offensive line is deteriorating and running back Saquon Barkley gained only 28 yards on 14 carries against the Cowboys.

Pick: New York Jets +2.5

Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

The Steelers were opportunistic last week, forced three turnovers and eked out a narrow win over the Colts, even though they were held to 273 yards of offense. The dam is eligible to break against a Rams team that is starting to find its mojo.

Los Angeles fell into a rut after it opened the season with three straight wins, and the Rams lost any semblance of their identity on defense when they allowed 105 points in three subsequent losses. They added Jalen Ramsey via trade, have gotten healthier in recent weeks and held their last two opponents to a combined 20 points. Running back Todd Gurley is also becoming a factor for a balanced offensive attack.

Pittsburgh is limited offensively. The Rams have displayed improving form on defense, and with their high-powered offense (26.8 points per game), they can win comfortably if they are able to avoid turnovers.

Pick: Los Angeles -3.5

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-5.5), Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

Green Bay rebounded impressively from its first setback earlier this season, when the Packers put together a resounding upset of the Packers in Week 5. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is likely eager to get after rookie quarterback Kyle Allen after they Packers showed up flat on the road last week against the Chargers.

Allen struggled in San Francisco last week against a fierce pass rush, and Green Bay has the defense to apply pressure. Running back Christian McCaffrey remains a threat, but the Packers are always tough at home, and top receiver Davante Adams will make his second start back from injury. Aaron Rogers will get back on track, and Carolina ranks 25th in scoring defense (25.5 points per game).

Pick: Green Bay -5.5

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-6), Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

These teams know each other well and the points are appealing with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

Seattle was caught looking ahead in the first half last week, when the Seahawks fell behind 21-7 to Tampa Bay, but the game was never in doubt once Wilson got going. The sublime quarterback threw for 378 yards and five touchdowns, which improved his touchdown-interception ratio to 22-1 this season. He is capable of keeping Seattle in any contest. The Seahawks also run the ball effectively and feature the NFL’s seventh-ranked scoring offense (27.6 points per game).

San Francisco enters 8-0 and has relied upon defense and the run game (second at 171.1 rushing yards per game). The 49ers lost inside linebacker Kwon Alexander for the season last week and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon is out, as well, while key receiver George Kittle is banged up with ankle and knee issues. San Francisco would be happy to grind out a close win, and Seattle shows up with their best in prime-time games, with a 27-5-1 record under Pete Carroll.

Pick: Seattle +6

James Scully's 2019 NFL record ATS on BetAmerica heading into Week 10: 24-21 (2-3 last week)